THE WRONG HEAD is the latest stand-alone volume in the screwball adventures of Spirou and Fantasio, two globetrotting journalists for the Mosquito newspaper. Written and illustrated by Andre Franquin in 1954, this is another gorgeous and affordable episode in this delight-filled classic series.

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worldedenaHere we go. Dark Horse brings out the first volume of the eagerly anticipated MOEBIUS LIBRARY: THE WORLD OF EDENA. It’s a fantastic release, collecting the six-volume cycle Jean “Moebius” Giraud wrote, illustrated and published between 1983 and 2001, set in the Edena universe.

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EURO COMICS ROUNDUP >> Slate for Consumption

themetabaron1Continuing a long-running story in Alejandro Jodorowsky’s INCAL universe, THE METABARON — brand-new from Humanoids — is the first such volume with only a story credit to Jodo, while scripting duties have been given to Eisner nominee Jerry Frissen. Frissen, whose ZOMBIES THAT ATE THE WORLD gets a full recommendation from Euro Comics Roundup, is at his best a witty and clever writer, whose nomination to this job seemed at the very least an intriguing pick.

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The Best American Comics 2016

bestamericancomics2016For me, fall has not truly arrived until the annual edition of THE BEST AMERICAN COMICS arrives at my door. For everyone else, it takes pumpkin spice.

Perhaps I can convert more of you to my side? The 11th volume, THE BEST AMERICAN COMICS 2016, marks the 10th anniversary of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s series. While I doubt series editor Bill Kartalopoulos and guest editor Roz Chast had that in mind in selecting this year’s contents, as if that were the sole impetus for making this collection Something Special; as Kartalopoulos has demonstrated since taking over the reins with the 2014 book, setting the high bar is merely a going-in given.

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EURO COMICS ROUNDUP >> Teaching Dylan Dog New Tricks

dylandogmorbiFor a few years now, Epicenter Comics has been publishing books from the legendary Italian Sergio Bonelli Editore for the American market. Following in the footsteps of Dark Horse (who published issues and collections of DYLAN DOG, NATHAN NEVER and TEX from the Bonelli stable), Epicenter has made a small dent with their two weird Western books MAGIC WIND and ZAGOR. More about both in future Euro Comics Roundups. What caught my attention was their plans to start releasing new DYLAN DOG material. The first volume just landed in my eager hands.

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THE ADVENTURES OF DIETER LUMPEN by writer Jorge Zentner and artist Ruben Pellejero is a phenomenal release from IDW’s EuroComics lineup. Gathering under one cover the complete series featuring Lumpen, a reluctant leading man, this globe-trotting book set in the 1940s rolls out with several short pieces that set the tone before hitting a rapidly ascending trajectory with three longer works that fill out this gloriously printed oversized volume, stunningly drawn and beautifully written for the entirety of its 260 pages.

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EURO COMICS ROUNDUP >> Ghosts of a Chance

ghostsinverlochSince Luc Besson just got a rousing reception for the few minutes of VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS footage he showed at this past week’s San Diego ComicCon, it’s only appropriate to continue reviewing the original series of comic books that not only inspired and instructed the career and ambitions of Besson, but through an extensive visual influence on George Lucas’ original STAR WARS trilogy, the majority of modern science fiction cinema as well.

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strangerFrom Pegasus Books comes a new adaptation of Albert Camus’ THE STRANGER, which I was eager to get my hands on. Existential dread, murder and the absurdity of life? In the right hands — like Munoz and Sampayo — this could be spectacular.

Having now read Jacques Ferrandez’ adaptation, THE STRANGER, I can say that if you ignore the fact that it is an adaptation, you have a beautifully illustrated, fascinating and fairly unusual graphic novel that I would recommend to readers of literary comics. However, as an adaptation of Camus’ book, it comes off as an abridged and diluted illustration of the plot mechanics, excluding meaning, interpretation and insight of the original.

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EURO COMICS ROUNDUP >> Valentina’s Day

crepax1THE COMPLETE CREPAX: DRACULA, FRANKENSTEIN, AND OTHER HORROR STORIES from Fantagraphics is, if the rest of the 10-volume magnum opus are of this quality, the first volley of Euro comics publication event of the decade. Now theoretically, IDW’s printing of Hugo Pratt’s Corto Maltese books might qualify, if most of those had not already been published in earlier editions. What makes this series so spectacular is that it brings a somewhat neglected auteur to a rather unparalleled focus for the U.S. readership.

I’d not read anything by the man before this. I was vaguely aware of his work, but having assigned it all into a box of badly drawn sex comics, this volume is nothing short of revelatory.

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Hellboy in Mexico

hellboymexicoHellboy creator Mike Mignola adds to the story collections of his character before his recent banishment in Hell by gathering the stories taking place in Mexico and publishing them together for the first time.

The unifying concept of HELLBOY IN MEXICO is revealed in the opening title story. In 1956 Hellboy, still an agent with the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense (BPRD) was dispatched to Mexico to investigate a series of mass killings. He disappeared for almost half a year and would later claim to have little or no memory of what happened during the five month “drunken blur.”

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